Celebrating Christmas in Turkey is being widely underrated by people thinking that the Christmas spirit cannot be felt in this country and they are truly missing out on a particular atmosphere,and very special festive activities.
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Christmas, this fabulous period of the year where everybody is in a festive mood, family dinner, joyful atmosphere, jingle bells, Christmas decoration, overly excited children, you know the rest, but who brings the gifts? Santa!
Too many people think of Santa Claus as this modern and international image of an adorable white-breaded Fat man who brings gifts to children on Christmas Eve and lives in the North Pole with elves, eight reindeer and a bag full of presents tied to his back, where he later on will drop them down the house’s chimneys.
All that is cute, but who really is the inspirational figure behind this traditional patron of Christmas?
The Real Santa Claus Was…Turkish
We have to go way back to the third century Roman empire, around 280 A.D in a small town of Myra further up the coast from Patara (now called Demre) located in modern Turkey, a bishop of the region named Saint Nicolas, was an ardent defender of Christianity during the roman persecution and well reputed by his strong generosity and kindness towards all people around him, rescued the poor and the unhappy thus have risen all sort of miraculous witnessed stories. After Nicholas’s parents death, he became very wealthy by means of his heritage, He had this urge to help people who were in need but he wanted to do it in hidden places, sheltered from the sight of other people, he came up with a way which consisted of climbing on the roofs of people’s houses and drop coins down the chimney. One day, a villager caught him in the act and this is how the whole town came to know his pure heart and Charitableness.
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Nowadays traces of him still remains in southwest Turkey, between Antalya and Fethiye, The church of Saint Nicolas holds an important part within the Christian community, many visitors cross the world to come and see it, especially on 6th of December, a day dedicated to Saint Nicolas when celebrations are held in honor of him.
Even if people celebrate Christmas and tell stories about Santa Claus without knowing about the true emblem behind it, but there’s still religious people who come all the way to trace back the history of Saint Nicolas.